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Floating Water-plantain

Luronium natans

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Alismataceae (Water Plantain)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
40 centimetres tall
Mud, water, wetland.

White, 3 petals
3-petaled flowers with a yellow centre. The petals are round. Usually only 1 flower per plant.
The fruit is an achene. This is a small, dry, one-seeded fruit.
The floating leaves are large and oval. The submersed leaves are strap-shaped and pointed.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Luronium natans, also known as Floating Water Plantain, is a species of aquatic plant native to western Europe, including the UK. It is typically found in shallow water, where it produces oval-shaped leaves that float on the surface. It can also be found in deeper water, where it forms rosettes of narrow leaves. Luronium natans prefers mesotrophic or oligotrophic lakes, pools, slow-flowing rivers, and abandoned or little-used canals. It has small, three-petaled white flowers that are held just above the water.


Luronium natans, also known as floating water-plantain, is a beautiful aquatic plant found in still or slow-moving waters. This plant belongs to the Alismataceae family and is native to Europe and Asia. It is widely used as an ornamental plant in water gardens, ponds, and wetlands.

The floating water-plantain has long, narrow leaves that grow above the water surface and are attached to a long stem. The leaves are bright green and are slightly translucent, making them an attractive addition to any water garden. The plant produces small, white flowers that bloom from May to September, attracting bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.

Luronium natans is an excellent choice for water gardens and wetlands, as it helps to control algae growth and improve water quality by removing excess nitrogen and other pollutants from the water. This plant also provides habitat and shelter for aquatic wildlife such as frogs, dragonflies, and waterbirds.

This plant is easy to care for and is hardy in most climates. It prefers still or slow-moving waters with a depth of up to 2 meters. It can be propagated by dividing the plant into smaller sections and planting them in different parts of the water garden or pond.

Floating water-plantain is a beautiful and beneficial addition to any water garden or wetland. Its bright green leaves and delicate white flowers make it an attractive ornamental plant, while its ability to improve water quality and provide habitat for wildlife make it a valuable addition to any water ecosystem.

In addition to its ornamental and ecological benefits, Luronium natans also has a number of traditional uses. The plant has been used for medicinal purposes in some cultures, with the roots and leaves being used to treat a range of ailments, such as digestive problems and skin irritations. It is important to note, however, that more research is needed to confirm the efficacy of these traditional uses and to determine the safety of consuming or applying the plant.

Cultivation of floating water-plantain is relatively easy, but it is important to keep the plant in an area with adequate sunlight and water flow. It is also important to control the growth of the plant to prevent it from becoming too dominant and choking out other aquatic species. One way to achieve this is by regularly cutting the plant back and removing any dead or yellowing leaves.

Floating water-plantain is a versatile and attractive plant that can bring beauty and ecological benefits to any water garden or wetland. With proper care and management, this plant can thrive and play an important role in maintaining a healthy water ecosystem.

It is also important to consider the potential impact of non-native species when introducing floating water-plantain to an area. While the plant is not considered invasive in its native range, it has the potential to become invasive in areas where it is not native. Before planting floating water-plantain, it is important to research the local environment and ensure that it is suitable for the plant. If you are unsure, consult with a local horticulturist or aquatic plant specialist.

In terms of its aesthetics, floating water-plantain adds a unique touch to any water garden or wetland. The delicate leaves and small white flowers make a beautiful contrast against the green of other aquatic plants and the blue of the water. The plant is also relatively low-maintenance, making it an ideal choice for those who want to add beauty to their water feature without having to put in a lot of effort.

In addition to its ornamental benefits, floating water-plantain also provides important ecological benefits, such as improving water quality, providing habitat for aquatic wildlife, and controlling algae growth. This makes the plant a valuable addition to any water ecosystem, and a great choice for those who want to create a healthy and sustainable water feature.

In conclusion, floating water-plantain is a beautiful and versatile plant that brings a unique touch to any water garden or wetland. With proper care and management, this plant can thrive and play an important role in maintaining a healthy water ecosystem. Whether you are looking to add beauty to your water feature or to improve the health of your aquatic environment, floating water-plantain is definitely worth considering.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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